Kicker who missed FG goes on national TV to the ire of sports bros

Cody Parkey missed a field goal (officially a blocked kick) on Sunday night that would have sent his team deeper into the NFL playoffs, and people wanted him dead. They literally wanted him to die.


Well, good for you, champ.

And it’s rough when even buildings, which, like some football fans, are incapable of brain function, are on your case, too.

Heidi Stevens, the Chicago Tribune sports columnist, says she showed her kids some of the hateful tweets, grateful for a teaching moment.

I showed my kids a couple of the cruel tweets. I asked them how they thought it would feel, after a so-so performance, if people piled on and called them names and threatened them. I told them how I would feel if people did that to me every time I made a mistake at work.

We talked about how pro athletes — despite giant paychecks and enviable endorsements and the (fickle) adoration of millions — are humans first. And no game is grounds for threatening or abusing a fellow human.

(I also showed them the tweets saying your team’s offense didn’t do you any favors by only putting up 15 points the rest of the game — 9 of which you scored. A nice reminder that every moment of a game counts, not just the final moment.)

I realize all of this, if you’re even seeing it, is cold comfort. Who wants to be a teaching moment instead of a Super Bowl champ? Nobody.

But as long as I’m raising sports-obsessed kids, I’m going to be searching deep and wide for the instructions we can glean from the triumphs and defeats and all the layers therein.

Today, Parkey went on TV for his first interview since Sunday night.

“Football is what I do. It’s not who I am,” he said.

For too many football fans, football is who they are.

Who’s leading the knuckleheads? Sports broadcasters and sports bloggers. Big shock, I know.

  • Barton

    Going to bring up what I say when anyone brings up Gary Anderson: a team should never be in a position where one person can win or lose – it is a team sport, everyone played failed to win if you have to rely on one play.

    And I’m glad someone thought to use the bile as a teaching moment. But some of those people making threatening comments should lose their privileges to attend a Bears game ever again…

    • >>Going to bring up what I say when anyone brings up Gary Anderson: a team should never be in a position where one person can win or lose – it is a team sport, everyone played failed to win if you have to rely on one play.<<

      RE: The Anderson kick

      The Vikings still had a 7 point lead after that kick with about 2 minutes left. It was up to the defense to stop the Falcons from scoring a TD and forcing OT.

  • Postal Customer

    You live a good life if the worst thing that happened to you this week involved a missed field goal.

    • Al

      So true, tho the death threats aren’t cool.

    • …and that kicked was blocked, so…blame the interior line?

    • Brian Simon

      You have a pretty good life if the worst thing that happened to you was watching a missed field goal on tv.

  • KTFoley

    “I guess what I’m saying is if athletes weren’t getting death threats/extreme hate, then we wouldn’t be so inclined to praise them on other end…”

    Wait, what?

    What is Cody Westerlund justifying here?

  • McNamara had no business leaving Bill Buckner in Game 6 for so long, and how many other moments did the Red Sox have to put the Mets down in that game, yet we remember the error as if it’s the only play of that game. Humans are weird, man.

    • Rich Potato Head Gedman
      Calvin Freaking Schiraldi

    • Brian Simon

      Also weird: how much enegy has gone into reliving that trauma over the last… how many years?

  • wjc

    I despise this stuff. Players: play the game, do the best you can. Fans: Enjoy the games, don’t be hateful morons. Sportswriters: Try to be hateful morons to the least extent possible.

  • John F.
  • Mike

    From ancient Rome to today, the purpose of public spectacles (gladiator contests, football games) has been to provide needed distraction to the plebeians. It keeps their attention away from pondering their disenfranchisement by the patrician class. Or in Marxist terms, their alienation from the means of production.

    It helps to bind up this ersatz identification in nationalism and militarism, fund it with already scarce taxpayer dollars, and enable it with constant cheerleading from the corporate mass media.

    Is it really so strange that some people take it all too seriously?

    • Rob

      Your bread and circuses comment gets my vote as one of the best comments of the week.

      • Mike

        Happy Friday to you too, Bob H.!

    • refereemn77

      This is just a small part of a George Carlin theme, but it fits quite well here:

      That’s the way the ruling class operates in any society: they try to divide the rest of the people; they keep the lower and the middle classes fighting with each other so that they, the rich, … can keep going to the bank.

      I think sports fits in with the fighting with each other part. Keeps us distracted and hating something that’s not actually important in the realm of the world to take our minds off of how the patrician class is running away with all of the money and power.

      I do love going to Twins games, though…

    • Guest

      WAIT WHAAAAAAT the role of government is NOT stadiums???


  • Rob

    Jock sniffers are indeed a blight on humanity.

  • Jim E

    I have friend named Steve Bartman (no, not that one). He still gets the occasional irate phone call.

    • Still? They won a World Series. All isn’t forgiven?

  • Mike Worcester

    Want to get long-time Vikings fans worked up? Just mention the names Drew Pearson and Nate Wright. (Throw in “Hail Mary” also for added effect…)

  • X.A. Smith

    The way the stadium of Bears fans booed him as he left the field had me thinking, “Bears fans deserve to lose.” It was absolutely disgusting.